- Sen. Rick Scott on Friday called the 2022 interim results a “complete disappointment” for the GOP.
- Scott said GOP supporters did not offer a positive vision to counter their criticism of President Biden.
- The GOP was poised to make big gains in Congress, but control of both houses is still uncertain.
Sen. Rick Scott, who heads the campaign arm that selects GOP senators, on Friday called the results of the 2022 midterm elections a “complete disappointment” for the Republican Party in the absence of the so-called red wave.
Florida lawmakers said Fox News anchor Sean Hannity that GOP voters simply did not show up on Election Day in sufficient numbers to counter Democratic voters across the country.
Hannity, who added many GOP candidates to his program that year, challenged the perception that 2022 was a marquee year for Republicans.
“Where does all this talk about a wave and a tsunami election come from? Because I’ve never seen it,” Hannity said.
Scott replied: “Here’s what happened to us. Election day…our voters didn’t show up. We didn’t get enough voters. It’s a complete disappointment.”
The Florida senator has served as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the current cycle and has stormed the country in support of some of the party’s most high-profile candidates.
Scott said that while GOP candidates were vocal in their criticism of President Joe Biden’s administration, the party failed to offer voters a positive vision in the first major national election following the 2020 presidential campaign and the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.
“I think we need to think now. What didn’t happen?” he continued. “I think we didn’t have enough positive messages. We’ve said all about how bad the Biden agenda was. It’s bad, the Democrats are radical, but we have to have a plan of what we stand for.”
Based on historical milestones, many observers expected Republicans in Congress to make big gains as Biden struggled with so-so approval ratings and an electorate frustrated with the country’s direction.
But Democrats have so far defied conventional wisdom, with the party on the verge of potentially retaining its Senate majority; Control of the House of Representatives is still up in the air days after the election, a scenario that just a week ago was considered highly unlikely.
Scott — along with Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Lee of Utah — issued a letter this week urging peers to delay a GOP Senate leadership vote on Wednesday.
“We are all disappointed that a red wave failed to materialize and there are several reasons for this,” the letter said. “We need to have a serious discussion within our conference about why and what we can do to improve our chances in 2024.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who spoke earlier this year about how “quality of the candidates” plays an important role in races for the upper chamber, has led the GOP faction since 2007.
He’s long enjoyed near-universal support from his peers, but Scott was ready to challenge the bluegrass state senator until it became clear there might not be a GOP majority and that the outcome of the Georgia Senate race wouldn’t be decided until next month , by Politico.
While on Hannity’s show, Scott took time to bolster Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker, who will face Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in a December 6 runoff after neither candidate achieved the 50% hurdle of victory mandated by state law earlier this week.
“We must do everything we can to help Herschel,” Scott said.